July 6, 2024

As a parent, there's no greater fear than seeing your child in danger. For one mom, that fear became a terrifying reality when her curious five-year-old decided to taste the "tiny grapes" growing on a vine up the side of their front yard tree. In the blink of an eye, the little girl had plucked a handful of the shiny fruit and popped them into her mouth.

Horror dawned as the mom realized her daughter was eating poison ivy berries. Panic set in as she rushed to her child, forcing her to spit out the berries and frantically sweeping her finger through her mouth to remove as many as possible. But some had already been swallowed.

With her heart racing, the mom called the Iowa Poison Control Center for the first time in her nearly two decades of parenting. She was shocked and relieved to learn that her daughter seemed to be one of the rare individuals not allergic to poison ivy. Thanks to quick action and a stroke of luck, the little girl suffered no ill effects.

Guidance When It Matters Most

In the midst of this terrifying ordeal, the mom credits the kind, calm, and efficient poison expert at the Iowa Poison Control Center with providing lifesaving guidance. "When I didn't know what to do, they did," she says gratefully. "In a situation where seconds make all the difference, their immediate advice was invaluable."

The specialist offered reassurance and crucial instructions, even following up with a compassionate phone call hours later and an offer to mail helpful information. "That follow-up call brought tears to my eyes," the mom admits. "It was such a comfort to know they cared that much."

Be Prepared: Seconds Can Save Lives

This family's brush with disaster underscores the importance of having the Poison Control number readily available. "We have this free, potentially lifesaving resource," the mom stresses. "Please, please write down this number and put it somewhere prominent in your home. Be more prepared than I was."

Don't wait until it's too late. Write down the Poison Control number now and post it where you'll see it every day. Program it into your phone. Post it on your fridge. Keep it by every landline. Give your babysitters and caregivers a copy. This simple step could be the difference between tragedy and a happy ending.

The Poison Control Number: 1-800-222-1222

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